Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Do you use public transportation?

  • Bus
  • Subway
  • Trains

You may be asked about public transit on IELTS, so you need to be ready!

Today you’ll hear sample Part 2 and Part 3 answers for IELTS Speaking questions about public transportation.

This is a common IELTS topic, and is recycled often on IELTS.

Jessica asked it often as an Examiner!

Listen in for band 9 inspiration!

For all the strategies you need for IELTS Speaking, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

How long should you talk on Speaking Part 2

On Speaking Part 2, you have to talk about one topic from a cue card for 2 minutes.

Is it acceptable to stop after 1 minute?

No, it’s not!

You want to fill that full 2 minutes.

This is the only way to show enough variety of vocabulary and intonation.

How to avoid speaking like a student

You need to sound more like a native to get a 7 or higher.

Don’t begin your answer with, “I’m going to tell you about…”

Natives don’t say this when they begin a story.

It’s difficult because it’s an unnatural situation.

In real life, no one will time you while you speak for 2 minutes.

This is why your study strategies must be specific for the IELTS exam!

Strategies Created By a Former Examiner

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How should you begin a Speaking Part 2 answer?

  • Say what you thought of when you saw the card.

This allows for better intonation.

It gives you the chance to lead into a story.

  • Say what you felt when you saw the card.

One of our students recently posted that a teacher instructed them not to talk about feelings on IELTS.

This is completely false!

You should definitely talk about how you feel, and what an experience made you feel.

Part 2 sample answer: Public transport experience

Aubrey shares an answer about using public transportation

  • heft: to carry
  • regrettable (adj.)
  • lambasted: to be assaulted by something; to have something completely cover you

We often use lambasted to talk about a verbal assault.

Think of it as being covered with negative words.

He lambasted me with critical comments.

However, we also use it in other ways.

I was lambasted by the odious smell.

Part 3: Changes to public transport

  • Nomadic: moving from place to place

Jessica talks about how very few Americans stay in the town where they grew up.

  • Before I was a thought in her mind: idiom for “before I was born”
  • Possess: own

Notice her varied intonation.

For a 7+ on Pronunciation, your intonation must change and be varied.

How long should Part 3 answers be?

Notice the length of Jessica’s answer.

Students have let us know that their tutors have told them their answers are too long.

This is inaccurate!

If your answer goes too long and the Examiner needs to ask the next question, they will stop you.

It is better to say too much than too little.

Answers should be a few sentences and about 1 minute.

Give a full, detailed answer!

Slow down!

You don’t lose points for slowing down slightly, as long as there’s not silence and too many pauses between words.

Help yourself do this by taking a breath before you start answering. This is a natural thing to do!

Also, you can use informal fillers to give yourself time to collect your thoughts.

Try to find various environments to practice speaking, beyond the comforts of home.

You have to challenge yourself to use the strategies.

Slowing down is a strategy to practice.

Avoid repeating yourself

Slowing down also helps you realize if you’re repeating something, or going off track.

You can say:

That’s not what I mean… I want to say…

Also, slowing down gives you space to express yourself more, and use appropriate pitchintonation and stress.

This increases your Pronunciation score!

You have to have variation in your communication.

How long should your IELTS Speaking answers be?

This question comes from one of our YouTube channel subscribers.

If you haven’t, be sure to check out our IELTS Energy TV YouTube channel!

How long should IELTS Speaking answers be?

We don’t have a lot of time to give answers like yours.

In this video, Aubrey breaks down the timing of Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

She clarifies that answers in Parts 1 and 3 should be 3-5 sentences.

In Part 2, you should speak for 2 minutes.

However, don’t worry about the time!

The Examiner will stop you if needed, and this will not affect your score.

Instead, focus on sharing lots of detail and great vocabulary!

Watch the video now!


Public transportation is a common IELTS topic.

You need to be ready to describe public transit in your city.

Additionally, think about experiences you’ve had.

Read up on changes over the decades and think about what has changed.

Practice answering questions on this topic so you’re ready for test day.

Use today’s strategies to slow down and vary your intonation.

For more Band 7+ strategies, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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